You move to a brand new city. You don’t know a soul, but you love rock climbing, so you decide to check out the rock climbing gym a couple blocks down the road.
While you’re there, you kind of keep to yourself because it’s your first time, you don’t know anyone, and you’re just trying to get in a good climb. But you need someone to secure your rope, so you walk up to someone you’ve seen who looks like they know what they’re doing, you introduce yourself and ask if you can work together for a little while.
This person holds the rope for you as you scale the wall, making the toughest wall in the place look easy.
As you come down, your new friend smiles at you and says, “Whoa! Great job! That’s a really tough wall - here, come meet some of my friends.”
They bring you over to a large group of people smiling, laughing, and having a great time enjoying their day in the climbing gym and introduce you to the group. As you shake hands and get to know these people, your partner from earlier walks behind the desk, answers the phone, and greets a new group of people walking in to climb -
“Oh man,” you realize. “that’s the owner of the gym.”
And the introduction that they made to the large group you’re now a part of is a phenomenon called social proof. They already had credibility in this group, and they let you borrow some of it.
So now, rather than having to look in from the outside or figure out what to say to get to know these people, you’re already in.
And the reason why is because you were good enough.
If you didn’t have a clue what to do when you were on the wall, the likelihood of getting that introduction in the first place is way lower. They may have helped you, maybe referred you to one of their coaches, maybe ignored you after holding the rope for you once or twice.
And that’s how influencer marketing works.
You’re intentionally looking for people who have a connection with a group that you want to connect with, and you’re demonstrating value to that person. It greases the grooves for them to show you off to their network, which is the network you want to be in too.
So influencer marketing requires a couple of things -
The attention of an influencer: this can be gotten a number of ways - you can pay them for their time, you can be so good that they find out about you anyway, or you can play a numbers game and helpfully reach out until you get the attention of someone in your desired network who’s willing to give you a little time.
The ability to deliver value: Maybe you aren’t the best rock climber in the world. Maybe you walk into the gym because you want to get to know people there and instead of showing off how awesome you are, you figure out a way to make their life easier by working for free on something or contributing in some other way. Maybe you can’t pay an influencer in the fashion space but you can take awesome photographs of their products for them to use on their feed for free. Figure out where the intersection of their needs and your skills is, and then leverage that.
If you can do those 2 things, influencer marketing can be the jet fuel that really kicks off your reputation and your network in any field. The gym is open. Go climb.
Also important to remember - there’s no one-size fits all solution for this kind of thing, so if you want to tell me a little more about your specific situation, I can help you build a custom plan that meets your needs. Schedule a call and let’s get to work.